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Is Florida ready for year-round daylight-saving time?

10:47 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Are you a fan of daylight saving time?

State Sen. Darren Soto sure is. He likes daylight saving time so much he's filed a bill to try to put it in effect year-round in Florida.

The idea of having an extra hour at the beach in the afternoon, or for enjoying the rides at Florida's world famous theme parks, is something Soto thinks Floridians would really embrace.

So he's drafted a bill called the "Sunshine Protection Act."

Sen. Soto believes having year-round daylight saving time would improve Floridians' quality of life and also give the economy a boost. He predicts more folks would use that extra hour of sunshine in the afternoon to go to restaurants and enjoy tourist attractions.

"I think Floridians' quality of life, and potentially economics, would be improved by having an hour more of sunshine in the afternoon."

Since the sunrise in winter would be late under daylight saving time, around 8 a.m., the bill would allow school districts to adjust their starting times to make sure school safety was paramount.

Soto also encourages the Florida Department of Agriculture to study how later sunrises would impact farming practices.

Count him as one Floridian who would never miss the annual adjustment to standard time.

"It really breaks up the rhythm that people have in their daily lives. We've had hundreds of emails on this from folks who don't like the fact that we lose an hour of sunshine in the winter."

The bill does not have a House sponsor yet and Sen. Soto concedes he doesn't expect it to pass this year.

But he hopes it gets people talking about whether Florida should operate on daylight saving time all year long.

First Coast News

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